Keynote speakers


Professor Gastón Ares

Gastón Ares is a professor at the Food Science and Technology Department of the School of Chemistry of Universidad de la República in Uruguay. He has authored more than 120 articles in international refereed journals, 7 book chapters and numerous presentations in scientific meetings. He is co-editor of the book "Novel techniques in sensory characterization and consumer profiling". Gastón was awarded the 2007 Rose Marie Pangborn Sensory Science Scholarship, granted to PhD students in sensory science worldwide, as well as the 2011 Food Quality and Preference Award for a young researcher, for his contributions to sensory and consumer science. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Sensory Studies and Food Quality and Preference, and serves as Associate Editor of Food Research International.



Professor Riette de Kock

Riette de Kock is an associate professor in the Department of Food Science in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Her research focuses on the sensory properties of food and drink that contribute to the nutrition and well-being of consumers in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research priorities include food product development to meet the demands of a growing and more urbanised African population in transition, the exploration of the richness of sensory experiences in foods from Africa’s bio-diverse food sources and the tailoring of sensory properties of foods to make them not only nutritionally adequate, but also appealing and appetising.



Professor Erminio Monteleone

Erminio Monteleone is Professor in Sensory Food Science, at University of Florence, Italy, where he teaches Sensory Evaluation of Food and Consumer Testing. His research work is focused on sensory determinants of food acceptability and preference. In the last ten years his research interest has been particularly focused on the effect of individual differences in sensory perception on food preference.



Professor Tormod Næs 

Tormod Næs is a research scientist at Nofima, Norway and professor at University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His research focuses on development and application of multivariate statistical methods in food science. At the moment he is in particular interested in methodology that can be used for linking several datasets to each other, so-called multi-block methodology. Most of the applications that he work with are linked to sensory and consumer science, but he also have an activity in spectroscopy.



Professor Dominique Valentin

Dominique Valentin received a PhD in Applied Cognition and Neuroscience from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1996. She is currently an associate professor at AgroSup Dijon where she teaches sensory evaluation, cognitive psychology and multivariate statistics to food science engineering students and master students. Her current research deals with cognitive processes involved in perception of food products. She is particularly interested in understanding the effect of experience and culture on how we perceive, categorize, appreciate and describe chemosensory stimuli and has published many scientific papers on these topics



Professor Paula Varela

Paula Varela is Senior Researcher in the Consumer & Sensory Sciences group in Nofima (Norway) and Associate Professor in Sensory and Consumer Sciences at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. With wide experience in academic and industrial research, she has worked in collaboration with various research groups from Europe, Asia and South America. She has authored more than 80 articles in international journals, various book chapters and contributions to scientific meetings. Paula has co-edited the book “Novel Techniques in Sensory Characterization and Consumer Profiling” from CRC Press. She has taught graduate and international professional courses in Sensory and Consumer Science. In the last years, her research has focused on the exploration of new methodologies to further understanding consumer perception, in particular sensory descriptive techniques and the influence of non-sensory parameters in consumers’ food choice.


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